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Highland sale

Published October 10, 2018 by francesothomas

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Rhapsody and Rebellion by Aubrey Wynne

An enduring legacy… A rebellion… A destined love…
Raised in his father’s image—practical and disciplined—there are no gray lines interrupting the Earl of Stanfeld’s black and white world. Until his mother has a dream and begs to return to her Highland home.

Alisabeth was betrothed from the cradle. At seventeen, she marries her best friend and finds happiness if not passion. In less than a year, she’s a widow. Vowing to honor her husband’s memory, she joins his activist group of Glasgow weavers and is soon embroiled in the Radical War of 1820.

Crossing the border into Scotland, Gideon finds his predictable world turned upside down. Folklore, legend, and political unrest intertwine with an unexpected attraction to a feisty Highland beauty. But Lissie doesn’t trust the Englishman or the rising desire between them. When the earl learns of an English plot to stir the Scots into rebellion, he must choose his country or save the clan and the woman that stirs his soul.

Get your copy for just 99 cents for a limited time!

Excerpt :
The sound of horseshoes and carriage wheels crunched in the drive. A moment later, the heavy oak door slammed open. Calum Dalais filled the doorway, wild black curls clinging to his neck and strong jaws, a whip in his hand.
“Let’s go, my lovelies. We dinna know how long this uproar may last.” Sapphire blue glittered with urgency. “I’ve rented a hack to get us out of the city limits. The carriage is too tempting for the rabble.”
Maeve picked up her heavy skirts with one hand, grasped her reticule with the other, and hurried for the door. The footman tossed baggage on top of the hansom then returned to assist Maeve. Her heart beat rapidly as she settled on the frayed padded bench. A far cry from the soft velvet of their own carriage. Maeve had been delighted to accompany her parents to Edinburgh. Now she prayed for the safety of her Highland home.
“What if they stop the carriage? I’m frightened, Calum.” Panic added a shrill pitch to her mother’s voice.
“They’re just hungry and tired of not being heard. I willna let anyone harm come to ye.” Her father’s calm tone soothed both the women. “Now up ye go, Peigi, my love. We’ll be out of here in the blink of an eye.”
He sat across from them, rapped his knuckles against the roof, and the vehicle lurched forward. The horses whinnied in protest and sidestepped men running through the streets and debris flying in their path. Someone tried to hitch a ride on the side of the vehicle. Calum swore under his breath, leaned out the window, and punched the man in the face. The trespasser fell on his arse in the mud, holding his nose with one hand and a waving an angry fist in another.
The sun’s bright rays barely penetrated a dark, narrow alley as the driver took a detour to avoid the throng of rioters. Maeve peeked out the window and saw a glimpse of the square at the end of the backstreet, packed with hundreds of people streaming in from all sides. On a shoddily erected platform hung a noose, with a group of workers balancing what looked like a man on their shoulders. They tied the noose around his neck. One of his arms swayed unnaturally by his side, and she sighed with relief when bits of straw fell from the coat sleeve.
The driver cracked his whip, the hack careened around another corner, and they broke free of the crowd. As the noise subsided, Maeve listened to her parents argue about the political situation that had led to the insurrection. She leaned her head against the hard bench, each rut jerking her neck back and forth. It had been such a long day with little sleep the previous night. Her lids grew heavy, and her mind traveled back to the angry mob as she drifted off.

Praise for Aubrey Wynne:

“Well-written historical romance with a bit of everything – a tragedy, a conflicted hero, a strong and fragile heroine, interesting characters, and a happily ever after.” Amazon verified review

“Best Regency Romance I’ve read in a long time and highly recommend!”
N.N. Light Book Heaven Reviews

“I adored this story. I look forward to reading more in this series.”
Reads2Love Review

“A wonderful romance!”
5 Kindles Review

PLUS:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

50 Blast Giveaway

Winner’s choice of a $50 Amazon Gift Code or $50 in PayPal Cash

Ends 11/2/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. The giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Standing on ceremony-not (#MFRWAuthor)

Published September 28, 2018 by francesothomas

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What are my writing rituals? This is the prompt for week 39 in the Marketing for Romance Writers blog hop. I would say I have a non-ritual.

I do have a set place where I do my writing. I sit on the couch with my laptop actually on my lap. This came as a surprise to a friend of mine. Evidently, she feels laptop computers should be placed on a hard surface to be used.

Although I am a musical person, I do not listen to music while I write as I understand some authors do.

I do not have a cup of tea, coffee, or an adult beverage nearby. Except when I do.

I don’t aim for a set number of words in a given session. I don’t write every day or at the same time every day. I know; I know. I should be doing these things. Will I mend my ways? Doubtful.

I can’t wait to read someone else’s rituals here. Clearly, I need some.

Learning my lessons (#MFRWAuthor)

Published August 3, 2018 by francesothomas

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How can it be August already? This is the 31st week in the blog challenge. The prompt is “When I’m not writing, I…”

To be honest, when I am not writing I am often feeling guilty about not writing. I spend a lot of time trying to learn new things, so that’s not a bad thing, right? Some of my favorite people and resources are:

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) provided on sites such as  Coursera and FutureLearn. You can find classes in almost anything that interests you. They are free unless you want to get an official certificate.

Sam Bennett at The Organized Artist Company has paid programs using concepts from her books Start Right Where You Are and Get It Done, but she is also generous with free online encouragement. She advocates spending fifteen minutes a day working on whatever your chosen project is, and she’s right. You can get an awful lot done.

Donna Kozik  is the creator of “Write a Book in a Weekend.” Besides her paid coaching services, she too is generous with free webinars. Most recently, she has coordinated two community book projects like Success Is Yours.

Joan Stewart puts out a very helpful free newsletter twice a week on all things publicity.

Dr. Judith Briles organizes a cruise for writers which I would love to go on. Maybe some day. She also produces a helpful newletter and webinars.

And last, but certainly not least, The Writing Gals, whose podcasts are filled with information for authors.

If you want to read about the non-writing pasttimes of other authors, go here. 

 

 

 

Fitness Junkie book review

Published July 17, 2017 by francesothomas

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Ironically, the first word that comes to mind for this book  by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza is delicious. A deliciously wicked insider view of the fashion and fitness industries.

It’s the tale of an otherwise brilliant woman who is hurt and whose confidence is shaken when her supposed best friend tells her she is too fat. He’s the designer and she the brains behind a bridal gown company.

She embarks on a hilarious but also sad “journey” through every fitness and weight loss regime New York City offers. The women who patronize the gurus have more money than sense and have bought into the myth that a woman only counts if she is a size zero. Janey, the protagonist has to face some unpleasant truths about her BFF before she can truly find self-acceptance.

If you are a fan of Project Runway or The Biggest Loser, you will feel right at home within the covers of this book.

The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband book review

Published May 30, 2017 by francesothomas

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Is it possible for Julia Quinn to write a book that is not delightful? I think not.

Cecelia Harcourt has made the arduous sea voyage to Manhattan to find her missing brother. When she arrives, Edward, her brother’s best friend, is in a coma and badly in need of nursing. Only family members are permitted to stay with the wounded. What’s a woman to do?

Second son of an earl, Edward Rokesby has been fighting in the colonies. He wakes up in a makeshift hospital with an agonizing headache, no memory of the past several months, and, oh yes, a woman who claims to be his wife.

Although he’s never met Cecelia face-to-face, he feels he knows her from the letters her brother has shared. He can’t remember any marriage, but given their respective circumstances, it’s not implausible.

They are indeed a charming couple. Let’s bring back letter writing.

Crushes

Published February 10, 2017 by francesothomas

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Back when my mother was a bobby-soxer, she swooned over Frank Sinatra. For me, a child of the sixties, it was the Beatles, George Harrison in particular. For my younger sister, it was Donny Osmond.

On this weekend before Valentine’s Day, I find myself pondering these teenage crushes. I never got any closer to George than a row on the upper level of what was then the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh. Had I ever met him, I’m certain I would have been completely paralyzed by fear.

It’s a different world than it was then. The young ladies seem so much more mature. Do they still idolize pop stars? My guess is it’s the preteen girls now, not the teens, who keep up the tradition.

What is the attraction? The dreamy eyes, the toothpaste smile, or just the safety of distance?

In the comments, tell me about your teen crush.

 

 

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Twelve Days of Christmas book rview

Published November 15, 2016 by francesothomas

 

I confess I have never been a Debbie Macomber fan. Her books have struck me as more goody two shoes than I could bear. i always turned to the tales of dukes and earls for my leisure reading.

Now, however, I find myself writing stores that are similar to those Macomber has long been famous for. I am all about good people, happy ever after, and small town charm.  I don’t presume to have her skill; I’m still very much a novice novelist. But in trying to approximate what she does, I have gained respect for her as an author.

Twelve Days of Christmas hits just the note we need  for the season and for the climate of the country right now too. The heroine is impossibly cheery and sweet. The hero is a modern day Scrooge who falls victim to being “killed with kindness.”

As a blogger myself, I could also relate to the heroine’s struggle to gain readership.

If only real life could be as  wholesome as the world Macomber creates, we’d all be a lot happier.

P.S. Southern Hospitality, the second book in my Calusa series will be out this week.